Meet Brendan 'Bubba' Newby, Ireland's Gnarliest Olympian

Meet Brendan 'Bubba' Newby, Ireland's Gnarliest Olympian

Overnight, Brendan 'Bubba' Newby became the last of Ireland's five Olympians to compete in Pyeongchang. The freestyle skier took part in the men's halfpipe.

"Unbelievable, dude. That was insane. That was the most fun contest I've ever done. I couldn't be happier with that," he told RTÉ's Darren Frehill after the event.

In a ranking of 'gnarly' Irish Olympians, Newby would surely emerge on top.

You wouldn't know it from his accent but Bubba spent the early years of his life in Cork. The 21-year-old's father was working as an economics professor at UCC when his son was born. He now lives in Park City, Utah.

"I don't look at scores or results until the event's done. Do you know what I ended up in? I haven't seen it yet," he asked of Frehill.

22nd was the answer and "Oh yeah dude. Hyped," the response.


A score of 53.80 left Newby in 13th after his first run, just one place outside the qualifying places for the final. On his second run, as happened with snowboarder Seamus O'Connor last week, Newby fell.

Still, a likably enthusiastic character, he was happy with his Olympics.

It's insane to be Ireland's first every freestyle skier and first ever half-piper. I didn't think that would ever happen! After my run I had a few kids message me on Instagram, now that it has happened I don't want to be the last (Irish) freestyle skier. I want to get more people on the team, I want to get more people skiing for Ireland and get more people involved in what I love. This is the most fun thing you could ever do. I hope I made it look like I was having a good time because I was!”

This has been unreal. For the rest of my life I'm an Olympian. That's something I've wanted my entire life so for it to actually happen – I can't even put it into words!

Newby also told of the camaraderie between Ireland's Olympians.

"Our Irish team slogan out here is 'dinna (dinner) time!' I was just yelling that out loud because the more you can distract your brain from thinking about it and getting in your head the easier it is!

"So (at the start) I just distracted myself with my good friend and coach Corey (Jackson) and Seamus (O'Connor), they were just helping to stoke me out."

You can listen to Newby's interview with RTÉ's Darren Frehill below.

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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